CPU Rumors: Bulldozer Pricing, Phenom II EoL, Sandy Bridge-E Delays

Multiple bits of CPU data have crept out from under the woodwork in the last few days; here's a roundup of what's making the rounds. On the AMD side of the equation comes a rumor that the company is about to stop producing Phenom II X2 and X4 processors in favor of moving consumers along to the Fusion-based A8 hardware. Currently, the two APU's in stock at NewEgg--the A8-3650 (2.6GHz, $119) and the A8-3850 (2.9GHz, $139) offer significantly slower CPU cores than the Phenom II X4 955 BE (3.2GHz, $119) and Phenom II X4 965 BE (3.4GHz, $134) they'd replace.

TechEye, which relayed the rumor from Kitguru, claims that: "So far no one can think of a reason to restart the X2 and X4s" and implies AMD will fill all future orders from existing inventories. While that's certainly possible, it overlooks the fact that Llano has made a much bigger splash in mobile than it has in desktops. Our discussions with AMD and the company's own focus during its recent conference call indicate that it's far more concerned with pushing its new 32nm hardware into laptops and notebooks. The fact that notebooks command higher ASPs and Llano's power consumption improvements shine most brightly there doesn't hurt, either.

That said, Seifert did indicate that the company was currently split 50/50 between Fusion-based product production and 45nm Phenom II-derived manufacturing. He projected that the switchover should be complete by the end of the year. Those of you wanting to grab a budget Phenom II don't need to jump for it tomorrow, but keeping an eye on things is a good idea.

AMD rumor #2 comes courtesy of the company's own AMD FX give-away. Buried under the 'Rules & Regulations' page is this gem:

We've previously speculated that AMD would use the FX brand differently than it did seven years ago. When it debuted, an 'FX' processor was a $1000 enthusiast feather that delivered (at least, in theory) unbeatable performance in every category. Now, the company is applying the term more generically and apparently to a wider range of processors. A $300 price tag would match the CPU up squarely against the Sandy Bridge i7-2600 (3.4GHz/3.8GHz TB). The fairness of that price match is still anyone's guess; Bulldozer's hybridized module approach makes it impossible to predict how the two CPUs will compare against each other core-for-core or clock-for-clock.

Finally, there's disappointing news for Intel enthusiasts. The company's next-generation Sandy Bridge-E processors--that's the six-core replacement for Westmere rumored to be arriving later this year--now apparently may not ship until November. The X79 chipset, once rumored to carry server-level features like SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), is now rumored to be little more than a slightly beefed up P67. The chips, whenever they do launch, will supposedly carry 12-15MB of L3 cache and clock in at up to 3.9GHz in Turbo Mode.